Natosha Monroe

Natosha Monroe

Natosha Monroe is a counselor intern with the LifeWorks Group in Texas (www.wefixbrains.com). She specializes in the empowerment of trauma survivors, Veterans, first responders, and expats. Blog contents are her own and do not represent the Army or DoD.

  • Why Aren’t Professional Counselors Allowed a Place in the Military?

    Jul 07, 2010
    Did you know there are no Licensed Professional Counselors or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists in any of the military branches? I have been an Army Reservist since 2001 and I chose to be enlisted to get a well-rounded experience and to understand the Army from the enlisted perspective first. I expected to become a commissioned officer once I graduated with my Masters Degree in Professional Counseling so I could offer therapeutic interventions to Troops. That’s when I found out the sad fact: There is no MOS (military occupational specialty—in other words an identifying code for a job title/position) for “Counselor.” Huh?! There are psychologists, psychiatrists, and masters level social workers—but no professional counselors or therapists offering their skills to Troops. Again, huh?!
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  • Underlying Stressors and the Dangers of Clipboards

    Jul 01, 2010
    Expectations are high in the military and there is little to no room for error. Just imagine the level of stress you might feel knowing you can’t make a mistake. Add to that the stress of having someone’s life in your hands…seeing blatant distortion of facts from a liberal media…constant public scrutiny…the recurring feeling of “being just a number”…being spoken down to by civilians and people in the military who outrank you…worry of someone “throwing you under the bus” to shift the blame away from them…having your medical records lost…not receiving your paycheck…not receiving your award because someone never filed the paperwork…living in quarters barely longer and wider than your twin-size bed…These are all typical things Troops experience before they even get on an airplane to go anywhere—I’ve experienced them all. Understanding this underlying stress of military life may help you to see why people seem so tense. This may also shed some light on why it’s sometimes difficult to make that instant connection with Troops. It may be due to an automatic perception that you are not genuinely interested and/or that each Troop is just a number to you, too. Do your best to prove them all wrong.
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  • “Enlisted” Is Not Synonymous with “Stupid” or “Uneducated”

    Jun 22, 2010
    Contrary to popular belief, the fact that some Troops are enlisted does not necessarily mean they are not educated or qualified to be commissioned officers. While college-level education is not required as with officers, many enlisted Troops* are indeed educated and successful regardless of their military rank.* Recognizing this can save a counselor (especially a civilian counselor) from losing serious rapport points with a military client.
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  • They’re Forcing You to Go, Right?

    Jun 15, 2010
    If only I could place bets on the comments I get from people who have just heard about my upcoming deployment* to Afghanistan! I’d put my money on some variation of, “I heard they’re making you go” or “so you have to go overseas, huh?” and make some serious cash. Just this past week I was in Arkansas for a family wedding when my cousin Brenda was the first to convey her sympathy in my “having to go” to Afghanistan. I replied with my typical light-hearted correction: “No, I get to go. I volunteered for the assignment and I’m really excited about what I’ll be doing there!”
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  • Hurry Up and Wait: Familiar Words to a Soldier

    Jun 07, 2010
    As a Soldier I’ve both heard and uttered, “Hurry up and wait” countless times. For anyone who has been in the Army, this is not only a familiar phrase, but an annoying reality of our military culture. I was first introduced to the “hurry up and wait” frustration back when I was a little girl and my Pop Pop told me stories from his WW II days and his experiences afterward with the VA system. (Pop also told me that if I swallowed a watermelon seed it would sprout in my stomach and a vine would grow up through my nose, but I think “hurry up and wait” is more believable.)
    Full story

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